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What about the current use of CCTV in Town Centres ...? ( cont. )

Well, let's firstly have a quick look at a ‘theoretical’ global profile for a typical
Town Centre CCTV scheme (in other words what it needs to achieve).

Deterrence 50% Incident Monitoring 15%
Site Management 10% Evidential Recording 25%

In effect, the main purpose of the system should be to ‘put criminals off’ committing crimes (Deterrance); if you can’t stop them, you need to be able to identify them after the event (Evidential Recording).
Ideally it would be useful to spot and respond to a crime in progress (Incident Monitoring), but statistically this doesn’t happen very often; and of course, there will always be occasions when the cameras can help to make things run more smoothly (Site Management).

In practice, we find that the actual ‘global’ profile for an average
Town Centre (TC) scheme is in fact very different (i.e. this is what it probably does)

Deterrence 20% Incident Monitoring 55%
Site Management 15% Evidential Recording 10%

The majority of Town Centre installations now use remote control miniature ‘Dome’ cameras, which because of their discreet appearance, are often not seen by the casual observer, and therefore do not provide as strong a visible deterrent as the conventional Pan, Tilt and Zoom (PTZ) assemblies (have a look at the photograph above - would you have spotted the camera if you weren't looking for it?).

Having said that, whilst this type of camera is ideal for actively monitoring an incident in progress, as has already been mentioned, this doesn’t happen very often.
Whilst there is only a slight difference in terms of Site Management capability, the facility to replay very high quality 'passive' Evidential Quality Recordings, simply isn’t going to be very efficient with any movable camera.

In practice, remote control cameras, whether conventional PTZ or fully functional Dome units, are in effect ‘Active’ components of a surveillance system; that is to say, they rely totally on the abilities, reactions and experience of a dedicated Control Room Operator, to provide maximum effectiveness.

Random Searches and automatic pre programmed ‘Tours’, may take away the need for some of the manual control, but in terms of spotting an incident in progress, it still remains something of a lottery.


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